Upcoming TAR Surgery

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I would like to jump in and join the discussion.  After reading everybody's experiences on post-TAR, I am now sort of apprehensive on if I should even continue with the TAR. 

I am scheduled to have a CAT Scan. Are there any specific questions I should be asking my doctor on my next appointment with him concerning TAR?  He has recommended the Wright.  I know it sounds weird asking him on his experiences on TAR.  Should I put my trust in him?  Thanks.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lawrence, without knowing your age, level of activity and cause for the surgery its difficult to offer advice.  I'm age 55, not over weight, physically active (power lifting) and had end stage osteoarthritis in my rt ankle.  I'd had a "washout" arthroscopy 10 years ago and the only three options for me were: a) more aggressive bone spur removal; b) TAR; c) Ankle Fusion.  The first option would only be temporary relief, delaying one of the other two for a couple of years.  TAR has a working life of around 10 years, depending on level of activity, and so I'd likely need more surgery later in life.  The Fusion option sounded too restricting with movement but having researched and talked it through, for me, it was the only real choice.

    I'm so glad I did it now because I'm 9 weeks post op and pain free but still not fully weight bearing.  I've got quite a bit of movement from my heel joint and all the joints in the foot forward of the ankle.  I use the exercise bike for about an hour a day with no impact to the joint.

    I can't give you experience of a TAR but I hope the above gives you a bit of insight on a different option.



  • Posted

    Dear Lawrence

    You should only put your trust in him if he is deserving of that trust! Don't make the same mistake that I made and trust without fully checking out the success or otherwise of his TAR surgeries and knowing how many he has done.

    This is a very technical surgery where experience is key. The correct alignment of the prosthesis makes the difference of whether the surgery is a success or a failure so do your homework well because a revision of a cocked up TAR is not going to be nice...tame that from me.

    Where are you hoping to have the surgery done. Please feel free to ask me anything. If you would like to watch a short video of me walking at twenty weeks just Google Yogesh total ankle replacement Richard.

    Good luck, Richard

    • Posted

      Thank you Richard.  You, Penguin and Wendy, the group forum have given me some pointers on what questions I should be asking my Doctor.  I will be 65 by the time the surgery occurs.  I will not have any choice of Ortho Surgeons available due to my insurance. But I have checked that he is board certified member of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.  I know that is important.  But so are other certifications.

      1)  How many TAR surgeries have you performed on Wright Infinity Total Ankle System? 

      2)  What are your success rate?

      3)  Will you be the one to perform the surgery or will it be done by one of your intern assistants?  (Of course, I would preferably be done by my doctor who is also Head Orthopedic Surgeon....Nothing personal).

      Let me know if there are anything else I should add to my questions to the Doctor.  Thanks again.


    • Posted

      Dear Lawrence

      You said that you were not sure whether to go ahead with having a TAR. You have also said that you have no choice over who carries out the surgery.

      Can you tell us how the decision to have a TAR came about and why was a TAR chosen rather than a fusion?



    • Posted

      A TAR was decided due to my age.  Fusion is more applicable to younger age 

      The no-choice surgeon since I am a veteran and my ankle situation happened long time ago in a lets say....overseas conflict.  So now, my surgery will be performed in a Naval Hospital.  By a Naval doctor.  And of course, every head doctor, or every Naval hospitals, they have junior doctors going through internship.  And I do not want the JOs performing the surgery.

    • Posted

      Dear Lawrence

      I'm very concerned about your planned TAR for the following reasons.

      This is a very challenging surgery for the surgeon to perform and is far and away more difficult, and complex than any hip surgery and knee replacement surgery is.

      Here in the UK many TARs are carried out by surgeons who have very limited experience of doing them and do at best perhaps just a handful or less each year. This is a recipe for disaster for the patient.

      A TAR that has gone wrong is not a good situation to be in and whilst a revision may be possible there are few surgeons capable of doing this even more difficult surgery.

      Lawrence, knowing what I now know about TARs and what you have told us about yourself there is no way that I would consider taking the risk of going through with this surgery with a surgeon not of my choice...no way!

      Your best solution is to go for a fusion because this is a far more straightforward surgery that can be successfully carried out by many competent surgeons. The likelihood of a good result is far greater than having a TAR were the chance of a bad result IMO is very high.

      Sorry to put my views forward in such a strong way but I'm writing as someone who had my TAR at 71 which finally started to fail a year ago.

      As the result of this I've done a considerable amount of research to find a way forward for myself so I feel that I'm in a good position to say what I have said.

      Best wishes


  • Posted

    Hello there I had a TAR two and half years ago.

    i am afraid mine has not been successful. Not really sure why. Have seen the surgeon 

    numerious times, but there seems to be no answer. I have just watched a Canadian doctor on you tube giving the percentages of success, and 10% just does not work. I am afraid I must be in that catergory.

    i am having a calf muscle release in January, hoping that my help. If not it means opening up again and having a small disc of plastic replaced with a thinner piece. Which I don’t really want to have done.

    i am 73 and try to still be reasonably active, but of course walking any distance is out of the question now.

    May I ask where you live.

    i think I have just been one of the unlucky ones.

    I wish you well with your decision, I would not like to sway you one way or the other.



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